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tv   Book TV After Words  CSPAN  June 12, 2011 12:00pm-2:00pm EDT

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democracy. but quite frankly, i may not want to know why this was here. >> tell us what you're reading this summer. send us a tweet at booktv. >> up next on booktv, "after words," an hour-long program where we invite guest hosts to interview authors. this week offer michael totten on his first book, "the road to fatima gate: the beirut spring, the rise of hezbollah, and the iranian war against israel." the freelance foreign correspondent who sort appeared in your times and the jerusalem post presents the first hand account of hostility on the ground in lebanon from the cedar
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revolution. he discusses hezbollah's history and a future with former u.s. ambassador to syria richard murphy. >> host: you got to lebanon i gather for the first time just after the assassination in 2005. thank you that's right. it just been assassinated and on march 14, 2005, more than a million people took to the streets all at the same time in a country of only 4 million. and demanded the immediate evacuation of serious military occupation. i've been wanting to visit lebanon for years, and this was the perfect time with the biggest story to come out of the middle east since the u.s. invasion of iraq.
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so i went there right away. >> host: did you have any idea you were getting into such a scene of destruction, desolation, wild accusations? trachea i did not. i wasn't expecting a thing like to structure our desolation. in 2005, beirut look itself like a middle eastern version of berlin in 1989. that's what i thought it was. and that's what a lot of people thought it was. but as we know now in hindsight, syria and iran were able to effectively reconquer the country using hezbollah as their proxy. so it turned out that they really should be more like budapest in 1956. >> host: what you saw was they claimed that beirut after that 14 years of miserable civil war throughout the '80s. and then organize a cleanup and
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reconstruction at least of the center of the city, new roads, et cetera. but that wasn't enough to get the syrians out of the country. the fact that the lebanese were finding new pride, new sense of nationalism. how do you explain what was called the cedar revolution with all those millions in the streets? >> guest: well, syrian occupation of lebanon have been placed since the end of the civil war. the civil war ended when syria conquered the country and disarm all of the lebanese militia. with the exception of hezbollah. but the syrian occupation was never -- it wasn't supposed to last 15 years. it was supposed to be according to the agreement temporary. the syrians were supposed to be there to make the peace, and then slowly withdraw. but the syrians didn't leave.
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so more and more lebanese people begin to chase against this. and the assassination of the fairly popular former prime minister was the last straw. >> host: syria had gone in at lebanon's invitation in the early period of the '70s, and stayed really from 76, you could say, until 2005. so it was a long period. and a lot of syrians always regarded lebanon as part of their country, which it was come until after the first world war. so they left very reluctantly, but they left. so it must have been a sense of an irresistible force wanting them out. >> guest: yeah. well, there were too many people in lebanon who were not going to put up at with a more. and also the united states and
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france were putting enormous pressure on syria's, to get out of lebanon. i think he was concerned about the recent u.s. invasion of iraq. he told joe klein in "time" magazine, he said please send this message, i am not saddam hussein. i want to cooperate. and he left shortly thereafter. and so i think this combination of pressure against him from within -- from within sight lebanon and pressure against them from outside lebanon also. and it was too much for him. >> once they're concerned the united states and others might actually move against him militarily as they had in iraq? >> guest: i think the odds of that happening were zero. it wasn't going to happen, but i'm not sure that a sod knew that. >> host: i think you're right. spicules merit -- more paranoid than the odds of them.
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>> host: the book focuses a lot of hezbollah and what you call the beirut spring. where did hezbollah come from? what help to motivate their leaders? >> guest: the iranian revolution guards corps dispatch 1500 or so commander's from battlefields in the iran-iraq war in 1982, and sent them to lebanon in the eastern side of the country along the syrian border. and they did this because the israelis invaded lebanon to demolish yasser arafat palestinian state within a state. the palestinians had great in west beirut and south lebanon. and the palestinians were using lebanon as basically a launchpad for attacks in israel and israelis invaded. so iran responded by sending iran's revolutionary guard corps commanders to lebanon to arm,
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equip and train and fund lebanese shia to resist the israeli invasion and occupation. and over time, it grew and became much more sophisticated organization called hezbollah it grew to become not just a guerrilla army, but also at the same time a political party. and now it is so well armed, better armed than the lebanese army, so in some ways not only guerrilla/terrorist army, but also provincial army and a political party. and it own territory inside lebanon that they entirely control. and so lebanon, it's almost like a schism in lebanon where there are two governments into different parts of the country. >> host: go back a bit though. by 2005 at the assassination,
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hezbollah had existed as an organization, what, since 82, 83? 82. okay, what was in it for iran to go in like that? what color of the eyes of the lebanese? >> guest: for iran, iran has a regional -- iran wants to be the most powerful country in the middle east. and order for them to do that they need allies and the rest of the middle east. and they don't have very many. because iran is shia and persian, where as most of the arab world is arab rather than persian and sunni. but in lebanon and iraq there our two countries where there are substantial number of shia muslims. they make up a majority in iraq, and substantial minority in lebanon. and so lebanon she has were willing to accept iranian
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assistance in exchange for acting as iran's proxy against lebanese christians and sunnis, and also against the israelis. so it's a mutual win-win relationship for both of them because iran, iranian revolutionary guard corps that basically has a forward base on the mediterranean. >> host: but after all is shia of southern lebanon where they are concentrated had welcoming the israelis when they came in a couple of years earlier at. >> guest: yes, they did. that's one of the great ironies of the situation, because the reason the lebanese shia initially welcomed the israeli invasion was because the shia of lebanon it were being governed by yasser arafat's palestinian stage which was sunni, foreign implants, and it was sunni. and the plo was rather
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contemptuous. that she has lived in south lebanon, and the plo also put them in danger by using south lebanon as the launching pad for an attack on israel. israel of course responded militarily, and she is who live there work out in the crossfire. so they were unhappy about it. so yeah, they welcomed the israelis and initially when they invaded in 1982, because the israelis demolished the palestinian entity that have been covering them. but the israelis didn't leave. and so, over time the lebanese shia in the south became increasingly disgruntled and they chafed against the israeli occupation much like the rest of lebanon. when syria came in to end the civil war and late but didn't leave. so those a bit of the similarity of. >> host: wasn't there something in it for iran as well as that show the iran revolution
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was affordable and islamic revolution? not just for shia. >> guest: that's right. hezbollah and iranian government hoped against extremely long odds, they hoped that hezbollah could become powerful enough to turn lebanon into an iranian style islamic state. that was another part of their original goal, which was always going to extreme difficult because the she is in lebanon make up roughly a third of the country and the other two-thirds are made up of christians, sunnis and druze who are going to be automatically categorically hostile to an iranian style theocracy. so hezbollah never really had any likelihood of success, but if they could get everything they wanted, that's what they would get, and that's what they were striving for. >> host: iran managed to identify itself with the radical
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forces in that had been trying to undermine israel, such as hezbollah and hamas, the palestinian side. so it was a win-win in that sense, but it was a good export, show they had a message for the arab world and they could have greater leverage if they play their cards right. in fact, you mentioned time. the israelis were out their welcome. the syrians were out their welcome. once the prospects of iran wearing out its welcome with a shia? and it's already not welcome among many of the other countries trying to iranian power its are not welcome by the majority of lebanese but it's different because iran does not occupy the country with its own army. and it doesn't control the country directly. it controls -- iran and syria jointly controlled lebanon's foreign policy and into the
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security policy but they don't really control modules because there are no syrian soldiers in the country. there are no iranian soldiers in the country. hezbollah occupies and controls its own territory, where its supporters live but hezbollah doesn't govern directly or even really indirectly anybody else in the country. so they're going about in a much more sophisticated way. and if you're a christian living in east beirut or in the coastal city, your daily life is utterly unaffected by any of this. were as when the series were occupying the country your daily life was very much affected by the fact that your cities and neighborhoods were occupied by syrian military. but today hezbollah stays in its corner and leave everyone alone as long as they don't try to get in hezbollah's way. and as long as hezbollah continues to be able to control and dictate lebanon's foreign and internal security policy. >> host: you know, the shia of lebanon have been treated badly,
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let's say, by their fellow citizens in lebanon. well, as long as i can remember. hundreds of years. certainly by the '80s it was still a community considered second class, third class. they didn't rate the very top position, and yet the numbers have grown. if you want to talk one man one vote, they were getting through with demand for more power. do you think they want to take over the state of lebanon to be the government of lebanon? eventually that was an iranian thought at one stage. >> guest: i think the ideological hardliners of hezbollah would like to take over the lebanese state, although i imagine they know this is not really possible. the practice among them know it's not possible.
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so what they really want, more realistically is as much power for themselves as they can. and there's a lot of fear among the hezbollah people, that if they disarm their militias and integrate into the lebanese political mainstream and compete for power, democratically like everybody else does, that they're going to revert to being second class citizens again. they have a real inferiority and persecution complex that has not gone away. you could say hezbollah is the revenge against the sunnis and christians have for a longtime ministry to them and kept them economically and politically marginalized. and they really are afraid of being marginalized all over again. if they give up their guns. they might be right, i don't know. >> host: well, the period you were there was a time of considerable violence, turbulence, politically and on
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the ground. i mean, you bring to life very vividly in your account what it meant to travel the streets, not just of south lebanon, you're the israeli border, but in beirut itself. it was very dicey. and talk a bit about that. you were there as an american journalist. was that a bad thing to be in the local view? >> guest: it was a great thing to be in 2005, because the united states, people and government, and most of the media were on the side of the lebanese revolting against the syrians. so, i mean, beirut in 2005 is probably the most pro-american place in the arab world. but the hezbollah areas in the suburbs south of beirut, and along the border with israel, was much dicier. i was not at all welcome there being an american. and i would only go to those
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places where the lebanese escort. because, i looked for a much like an american idol look lebanese at all. so i would be approach by hezbollah security people, it's how i went into the area and the only way that i could deflect being detained and questioned was to have lebanese people with me who could explain and smooth things over, and basically keep hezbollah away from me. but it was not comfortable at all. and i got stared at a lot. and stared at in a way that people were staring at me because they were curious about a foreigner. it was hostile steering, even from women. >> host: you also get into a situation where the traditions of hospitality, traditions of you are welcome to have another cup of coffee, and we just hate
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your government's policies. was that your experience? they were a little skewed see about americans and american? >> guest: well, the lebanese hospitality is legendary, and it's real. and dealing with hezbollah itself, i got both. they fed me -- when i went down to the press relations office, they gave me coffee, the dbt. they gave me food. they've really want and hospitable and welcoming me at first. and his hospitality was followed by threats and belligerence and eventually being blacklisted. and what started all this was i cracked a joke about hezbollah on my blog, and have absolutely no sense of humor whatsoever. and their press secretary called me, and i knew this guy. he was a nice guy up until this moment. he called me up screaming at me saying who do you think we are? we know who you are.
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we know -- we read everything you write, and we know where you live. this is for cracking a joke on my blog. i hadn't even written an article yet about these guys. >> host: they were reading between the lines tried i guess they figure the article i was going to ride was not going to be friendly. and they were right about that, but i certainly was less empathetic to them after being threatened over the phone. by a group that still was by the united states a terrorist organization. they violated my personal rule of media relations, which is be nice to people who write about you for a living. they don't seem to get that. >> host: it was a kind of first express for all of them. you are among the first to be in such direct prolonged contact,
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their spokesman with her followers. and clearly they weren't sure where they were. and the idea is force the journalists, that's the way goes. here's our story, you take it, you print it. >> guest: i'm an american. i don't do that. we don't do that. we're not supposed to do that, especially with a group like hezbollah. so they were not happy. and i'm not by any means the only journalist has had an experience like this with them. i mean, they threatened quite a few american journalist and european journalist. they do it on a regular basis. it's part of their modus operandi, that they'll be nice to you and they will threaten you at the same time. >> host: well, at that stage, as you cross beirut from, call it the westernized part of the city, into the suburbs that they
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controlled, you write as if it was going into a foreign country, you had a visa, included staging. and even more so as you move south towards the lebanese israeli border. you are not in an area that the government of lebanon had any authority. >> guest: has the has authority in these areas, but the differences go way beyond who has authority there. any american who would fly to beirut today and get off the plane and go downtown would be any part of the world that they recognize because it really is a place where the east meets the west. and it all gets mixed together. so you will see as an american fragments of the western civilization mixing in with the east. you will see things like this, and you will see women who will dress like french and italian women, rather than wearing their
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headscarves or even of ale. and most americans feel pretty comfortable. i felt it merely very comfortable there. and when you go to the suburbs to the south is a which are controlled by hezbollah, all of this disappeared. the level of economic development plunges. there certainly are in a starbucks or anything like that. and you also will see very few women dressed in the matter what, almost all of them are dressed very conservatively with either headscarves are wearing the full block that covers them from the top of the head to the bottom of the with only their face showed. you see a lot of women there like this. you won't see the national lebanese flag anywhere in hezbollah's territory. instead you should the hezbollah flag with its ak-47 assault rifle local. and occasionally i saw the
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iranian flag. whenever the lebanese flag. and there are posters on the wall hanging from lampposts showing the faces of dead young men. who were killed in battle with israel. they are all over the place. >> host: is a country with extraordinary mix of religious faith, political ideologies, seems in constant state of constant adjustment and accommodation. of the least the news i've had recently is that in that suburb, lebanese government is now able to have some investment in schools, inroads, and health clinics. is that maybe apple is running
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short of the money and the arenas are not being as generous as the expected? it sounds like the beginning of a familiar lebanese process of assimilating new challenges, and that's what i like to describe themselves as well as a. mosaics are many different colors, different sized pieces, but for some peculiar reason they stick together. how do you see it? >> guest: well, i hope it's true that the lebanese government is being allowed now by hezbollah to invest in health care and education, this sort of thing in the areas hezbollah controls big because up until now hezbollah would not permit the lebanese government to do this because it wanted the people who live in these neighborhoods to be entirely loyal to the party rather than the government, which is pluralistic and has multiple parts, multiple confessions,
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multiple ideologies come mosaics that you describe. basically out of mosaic and sealed off from the rest of the country. and so, you've got a situation where there a lot of poor people in the area that are in control that will for and support hezbollah, not necessarily or exclusively because hezbollah picks a fight once in a while with the israelis, but because hezbollah paid for your children's school. and if you get sick you go to a hezbollah hospital and it won't cost you any money and they take care of you. so they have like a cradle-to-grave sort of system that kept everyone in their territory away from all the other civic infrastructure that the rest of the lebanese use and share. >> host: but you were there when hezbollah did some kidnapping of israeli soldiers,
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and israel in 2006, a year after that assassination that brought you there, brought the roof down. it was not just on military targets in the south. they took out bridges in the north of lebanon. they laid the official buildings controlled by hezbollah's leadership flat in southern beirut. now, didn't that cause -- cost them something? >> guest: tossed hezbollah? tremor in terms of public. >> guest: very much. the public was very angry at the israelis for hitting infrastructure throughout the country, rather than just and he has put a big the israelis did this because hezbollah had kidnapped the soldiers and israelis did not want hezbollah to take the soldiers out of lebanon, over bridges and out of
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the airport, or the searing land border when they send could not be risky. but huge conflict is everybody in lebanon is furious and feels like israel is attacking all of lebanon rather than just going after hezbollah. the first day or so of the war, there were a lot of lebanese people in beirut he were not upset with the israelis for striking back. they figure that hezbollah started it and hezbollah deserted, and the lebanese people did like hezbollah anyway. so they weren't going to shed many tears if the israelis bombed them but then the israelis widened it and the entire country was actually serious. but the same time they were just as various at hezbollah for starting it. and they bit their tongs for the most part during the war because they felt some solitary with hezbollah while they were dropping bombs and every. but the minute israel stop
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bombing lebanon, everyone i know in lebanon who is already opposed to hezbollah was much, much, much more so and there was a lot of talk at the time in christian and sunni community that the root disk or people might start reconstituting their militias. they didn't do it, but this is what people were saying, this is how angry they were at hezbollah for starting that war in 2006, that they might actually start rearming and moving hezbollah on their own if the state wouldn't do it. they didn't do this but this was how they felt. and this is what they were thanking. >> host: did you get the impression that that message got through to hezbollah leaders? >> guest: i think so, yes. but hezbollah sort of neutralize in 2008, went in and invaded west beirut, and whole western half of the city fell in a day and have. with almost no resistance at
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all. and hezbollah showed not only does it have the power to launch rockets and missiles into israel, these rockets and missiles don't scare the lebanese because of those missiles are clearly aimed at israel all the. hezbollah will not fire missiles into his own country. but they have a real tactical skill on the street with an ak-47. much more so than anybody who might resist them. and it's very successfully intimidated all of hezbollah's internal political opponents. and so basically it's raining and say okay, you guys, what do you want? you guys can do whatever you want, just stop, stop. >> host: so they showed their muscle. >> guest: they didn't. >> host: do you think they persuaded any broad section of lebanon that they are the only ones capable of defending the country against their arch enemy
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of israel? >> guest: there are people who think that, although, i mean, every knows israel is more powerful than hezbollah. and hezbollah cannot stop an israeli invasion. but there are people who believe that the lebanese army will not do anything. they are right, the lebanese army will not do anything. hezbollah is strong enough to act as a deterrent to keep the israelis from invading. there are many, many lebanese who believe that. ..
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>> which is still not fully drawn with syria what do you understand the syrian attitude towards hezbollah? is it a useful instrument for syria? >> guest: yeah, that's exactly what it is. hezbollah is useful to the syrians for a couple of reasons. one, the syrian government is iran's ally, and hezbollah is iran's project. so syria will help for that reason. but what syria gets out of it is two things. the government in damascus gets credit for championing the resistance against israel by sponsoring hezbollah but doesn't have to take any punishment when israel responds. because hezbollah exists in lebanon, lebanon rather than syria gets bombed. so assad basically gets to have his cake and eat it too. but hezbollah is, also, as
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proven very vividly in 2008, very useful against the lebanese government because the syrian government wants to dominate lebanon as much as possible which is very difficult. lebanon is all but ungovernable and has been for decades, but hezbollah is powerful enough that if the lebanese government does what hezbollah, syria or iran doesn't want, hezbollah can just run roughshod over everybody else and take the capital and dictate terms. so, um, yeah, hezbollah's very useful against jerusalem and beirut simultaneously. >> host: well, then look to this question. what degree could syria control hezbollah? again, going back in time in the '80s when there were troubles in the border area and hezbollah was identified as the instigator we could go to damascus and say to bashar's father, hey, this
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could get out of hand, and he would never say, well, i'll do something about it, and yet the trouble stopped. and it happened a few too many times to be coincidental. >> guest: right. >> host: do you think bashar could do that today? >> i think al assad has less authority over hezbollah than his father did, the iranian government has more. i think that iran could do it. if iran were to give orders to hezbollah to either do or stop doing something, it would happen at once like it did in the '80s when syria did. if syria were to do it today, that would probably also be effective unless the syrian and iranian governments were at odds with each other. if syrian and iranian governments disagreed on what the policy would be, the iranian government would, i think, win that argument. >> host: yeah. >> guest: but it's all very murky. i mean, there are -- more of the
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chart, so to speak, is not obvious. so it's hard to say. >> host: the syrian connection with lebanon is an intricate one, with by marriage, by commerce, by history. if you were born in beirut in the 1920s, you were born according to your identification document in beirut, syria. >> guest: right. >> host: so, you know, the -- and the syrian role which they have spoken of so often and i'm sure you heard it there was, you know, we are the real leaders in this part of the world, and we have been the existence to israel's expansion and threats to air abism -- arabism, arab nationalism from the beginning. so there's a lot of pride there, wounded pride because a lot of other arab leaders don't recognize him as the great leader.
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in that sense, hezbollah is an unspoken strength of the syrian regime. >> guest: right. >> host: yeah. um, should americans care about lebanese politics? >> guest: yeah. >> host: and the future? >> guest: and the reason is because lebanon, for a long time, has been one of the places that draws in foreign powers whether they want to be drawn in or not. and because iran controls hezbollah and because hezbollah controls the lebanese side of the lebanese/israeli border, what that border has become, basically, in the arab-israeli conflict, the front line in the iranian-israeli conflict, and the line where iran confronts the west in general if we
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consider israel to be a western country, which i do and i think we should. and a big enough war involving israel, lebanon, syria in iran to draw the united states in whether we like it or not. and that lebanese-israeli border will be the epicenter if a regionwide war involving these countries breaks out. so, yeah, i think we should care very much about what goes on there. because we may end up getting sucked into it. we have in the past gotten sucked into it. >> host: yeah, we have. and the lebanese have never been reluctant to invite outsiders in -- >> guest: right. >> host: -- to serve their community. >> guest: that's right. >> host: not just the u.s., the wers. >> guest: right. a lot of sunnis would be happy with it, too, frankly. i think it would be a terrible idea, but a good chunk of lebanon would welcome it today.
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>> host: well, i'm personally grateful that back after the first war our representatives travel anything the area from -- traveling in the area from washington turned down a request to take over the mandate from the league of nations for lebanon and syria. thank god we didn't get sucked into that one. >> guest: yeah. >> host: you're right, the pressure to come in and help has been constant. >> guest: yeah. >> host: um, what's the prospects of hezbollah being integrated into the lebanese political system? they're in the parliament. >> guest: they are. >> host: they're sharp politicians, i'm told, in the lebanese parliamentary system. >> host: i think eventually -- it's inevitable, eventually, that hezbollah is not going to eternally for all time be an iranian militia. it will eventually have to be integrated because lebanon cannot be guided into more than -- divided into more than one state, it's too small.
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and the shia population, which is hezbollah's support base s fragmented into three different pieces. in the suburbs south of beirut, which is in the id -- middle of the country, in the southern part and in the northern valley. that's where the shias live. they live in three little isolated pockets, and you can't carve them out, give them their own borders. it's just not possible. so eventually fair they're going to have -- eventually they're going to have to reconcile with their countrymen and join the political mainstream. but i don't think it's likely to happen until there are either new governments or very serious reforms in syria and iran. because syria and iran are willing to give hezbollah anything it needs, and hezbollah is willing to accept help from outside, and nobody has any reason to break some of these
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relationships. >> host: well, you know, we're talking today while the arab spring is still in full blossom. it hasn't, at least superficially, it hasn't reached beirut. there's been no revolt against, as one wag said, there ain't no government to revolt against. there's a caretaker, prime minister and caretaker cabinet. so lebanon remains in flux. syria is under considerable internal pressures which haven't been as organized as they were in cairo, in tunis before, but -- and the outcome in syria is unclear. but let's stretch ahead, if possible, enough to get away -- not to get away from the theme of your book. but if past is prologue, what might this first major revolution in 60 years
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throughout that region bring to lebanon, bring to hezbollah? >> guest: well, if syrian government falls like what we just saw recently in tunisia and egypt, it will be a huge earthquake throughout the region. just why? >> guest: because syria is critical for hezbollah's existence in lebanon and for iran's arming and equipping hezbollah. because it's the crucial link in a logistics chain. all of the missiles that hezbollah acquires, they fire into israel, comes over the land border between lebanon and syria. if there's a new government in syria that doesn't want to play this game, then hezbollah's going to have a very serious problem. and the syrian government can, a new syrian government will have almost no leverage inside lebanon at all because syria has this intricate web of bribed and
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bullied officials in lebanon that it uses to maintain its hold there. and all those relationships will dissolve at once if there's a new government. and somebody else rising to power in damascus will have to start from zero and might not even be interested in trying to dominate lebanon in the first place. so this would be very bad for hezbollah, it would be very bad for iran. but i don't expect to see this in syria anytime soon because assad, like gadhafi in libya, is willing to shoot as many people as he think he has to to stay in power. that's clear. i mean, the body count is now somewhere around a thousand. and his father killed tens of thousands in 1982 during an uprising in his regime. and everybody in syria remembers this. i mean, how could they forget?
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20-40,000 people killed in 1982. they still remember it, they sometimes still talk about it. and nobody's going to go in and stop the syrian government from maskerring -- massacring its citizens. it's just not going to happen. we've got a no-fly zone over libya right now, but gadhafi is an easy target. he's low-hanging fruit. he doesn't have any friends in the world who are going to ride to his rescue. the syrian government has hezbollah in the -- in remember than, and the islam republic regime in iran. and nobody in the west wants to do anything to stop it if it can ignite a regional war. so he's, basically, aside from getting sanctioned, he's going to be allowed to do whatever he wants, and no one will stop him. and i don't see any reason why he wouldn't kill 20,000 people if he thinks he has to do it. and, verge, the up-- eventually, the uprising in syria will probably abate, i think. i hope i'm wrong.
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i'd love to be wrong. >> host: i don't think anybody knows how it's going to come out. >> guest: yeah. >> host: the challenge that prompted the muslim brotherhood in those days, they felt was a serious one and they had watched their air force cadets be blown up, they watched a grenade being thrown at the president. there was a lot of rumbling, but then he ordered field artillery to be used against the city of hameasuring a. how many -- hama. how many, 10, 15,000 died. sure, that memory has not died. but it would not lead necessarily to a cutoff of communications of a wide variety with lebanon. so sir v.a. will -- syria will
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continue to be a player. you know, every intelligence service in the world has been represented in beirut, and syria certainly has been a dominant one there for many years. i mentioned the family, a business -- the ties are strong, and they're not going to be dissolved by a change of regime. so they'll still have a role to play there, god willing it'll be a responsible one that we will see the area itself, the region as a whole start to move as last towards a general peace. do you think hezbollah could survive a general peace? >> hezbollah would survive -- >> host: a general peace agreement? >> guest: well, hezbollah would resist a general peace agreement. um, it's hard to say if, if
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there was a new syrian government to sign a peace treaty with israel and, therefore, either implicitly or explicitly gave the lebanese government the option of signing a peace treaty with israel, hezbollah would probably do anything it could to make that peace not viable, but it would also have serious difficulty convincing other lebanese people that it should be supported. because, i mean, like we mentioned earlier one reason that hezbollah has some support in the country is because some lebanese people do believe that the only thing that keeps the israelis from invading is the deterrence that hezbollah creates. but if israel assigns a peace treaty with the lebanese government, then it's going to be more difficult for hezbollah to convince lebanese people that it's necessary to keep the israelis out if the israelis are all but proving that they have no designs on lebanon by signing
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a treaty. so hezbollah will do whatever it can to prevent this from ever happening because it would seriously hurt the organization, and they know it. >> host: how monolithic is it as an organization today? >> guest: not monolithic. i mean, there are, there are like in any organization there are ideological hard liners, and there are pragmatists. and their supporters are even less monolithic than the organization itself. because some, some lebanese support hezbollah because they've really drunk the kool-aid about resistance and radicals islam and jihad. others support hezbollah because hezbollah pays for schools and hospitals. and others support hezbollah because hezbollah brings power and dignity to the shia community that has been marginalized economically and politically for hundreds of
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years. and i've met many of these people who have no interest whatsoever in living in an iranian-style state. they have no interest whatsoever many war -- in war with israel, and yet they support hezbollah. hezbollah knows they have a diverse support base and has to try to make all of these people happy at the same time which is very difficult to do and is eventually, i think, going to be impossible for them to do. and it's just a matter of time before all these contradictions work themselves out and something different happens. >> host: yeah. and they have to contend with, again, the weight of history that persians and arabs have had some pretty tense times. the idea of an iranian society really taking root in the arab world is hard to see. and if it works out, for instance, in iraq then, again,
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that story isn't fully told. that may well end up as more a confirmed raich state than -- arab state than a nontheocratic state despite the help that iran has been providing to shia elements in that government, in this that community. so lebanon just reassert itself once again as it has in history and accommodate the new challenges. you can see that. >> guest: yeah. in the long run, i think it'll be okay. >> host: in the long run we're all dead. >> guest: yeah, that too. [laughter] would you go back? why would you go back? >> guest: i love the place. and i would like to go back this summer, but it's so quiet, there's nothing really happening. i'll wait until there's -- i mean, i am a journalist, after all. i mean, the summer would be a great time to go as a tourist, but not as a journalist because nothing's happening. so i'll wait for the cauldron to
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start bubbling a little bit before going back. look, i love beirut. it's one of the great cities of the world. you've been there, of course, and i don't know a single american who has been there that didn't fall in love are with the -- in the love with the place. i know how crazy that sounds to people who have never been there who imagine beirut to be a dysfunctional, violent, wreck of a place like baghdad. baghdad really is like that, i've been there many times. but beirut used to be called the paris of the middle east. which is a bit of an exaggeration. it's not paris. it's a bastard orized version of paris with a lot of blown-up buildings in it that have been patched up again, but there are also sections of the city that are incredibly beautiful, and i've never been anywhere that has so much vibrancy as the city of bay lute, never, nowhere in the world. tel aviv comes close sometimes, but i have to say beirut beats tel aviv.
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>> host: well, to -- i'm not sure i want to see lebanon stay of great interest to you as a journalist because that's going to be a lot more bloodshed and suffering to make a story worthy of our front pages. but there is, i think there is a hope in the area that they will find an arrangement that will bring hezbollah in, and iran will be seen as, yes, a friendly influence on a certain part of the lebanese community but not going to be running, not going to be running it. i hope you'll get to syria and try to see the picture from that side as well. but it's been, you've written a very absorbing, very vivid account of what it means to live and survive in an atmosphere of terrific violence and almost,
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almost mindless hostility towards each other. just go ahead and shoot. somehow that will bring your side to the top. did you feel that? >> guest: oh, there is this -- lebanon is a dark, tragic place, and there are, unfortunately, a large number of people who actually think they're going to make their lives better by shooting at their neighbors. >> host: it's quicker than negotiating. >> guest: right. but it doesn't work, actually. >> host: no. >> guest: it never does. i mean, the civil war went on for 15 years. i don't, i mean, it's hard to keep track of all the different sides and factions even though i've been going to lebanon for years and have written a book about the place. it's still hard to keep it all straight, sort of like world war i in this way. >> host: yeah. >> guest: and nobody won. nobody really accomplished much of anything. >> host: yeah. >> guest: i mean, their ex-president had a great quote
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about this. i can't quote him precisely, but to paraphrase, something about everybody is against everyone else, and we all keep going around and around in circles without anything being accomplished and nobody ever winning. and i think most lebanese people at this point have internalized this and realize that, yeah, that's hows the. that's how it is. and when everybody in the country fully internalizes this less is when i think -- this lesson is when i think the country will be okay. >> host: well -- >> guest: it's not quite there yet, unfortunately. >> host: you suggest at one point that lebanon could not survive in a sea of autocracy with the neighbors that it has. do you feel that still? >> guest: yeah. i mean, lebanon can survive, but it cannot survive as a democratic country surrounded by hostile dictatorships, not when there are a certain percentage of population inside the country willing to work with those
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foreign dictatorships. the country can't, can't hold up against that kind of pressure. unfortunately. >> host: you're asking for a lot of changes. thanks so much. >> guest: thank you very much. >> host: a much-appreciated exchange. and good luck on the book sales. >> guest: thank you. >> that was "after words," booktv's signature program in which authors of the latest nonfiction books are interviewed by journalists, public policymakers, legislators and others familiar with their material. after words airs every weekend on booktv at 10 p.m. on saturday, 12 and 9 p.m. on sunday and 12 a.m. on monday. you can also watch "after words" online. go to and click on after words in the booktv series and topics list on the upper right side of the page. >> on the go? after words is available via
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podcast through itunes and xml. visit and click podcast on the upper left side of the page. select which podcast you'd like to download and listen to after words while you travel. >> dr. gentry, the title of your book is "in the middle and be on the edge," and in the preface you mention how it's always been on the middle and on the edge of different parts of idaho civilization. what do you mean by that? >> well, twin falls is located between boise, and those areas were more watered, they had a larger indian population in the beginning and so we're almost exactly in the middle there. and what i really argue in my book is that twin falls is in the middle. it's between two canyons, which is easy to see, the state river canyon and the rock creek canyon, but it's also between boise and poke tell low. if one was in the south, it's in the middle between northern
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nevada, people come to twin falls for shopping and so forth, and the sun valley. everybody wants to be in the middle, but it's not always fun to be on the edge. and i argue that the fact twin falls has been on the edge in a number of different instances has made it, made people in twin falls more defensive than they might be. and i think, really, it's crucial in understanding our history. for example, when the freeway was built in the '60s, the freeway was built north of twin falls. it missed the city. and there was this tremendous disappointment that somehow twin falls had been missed, that we were on the edge again. >> and how have native americans and pioneers influenced the development of twin falls? >> >> well, native americans moved around a great deal. in fact, in my book i suggest they moved much like a lot of senior citizens do today. when the weather was warmer,
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they moved up into the canvas prairie area, up into what's present day the south hills. so they migrated a great deal. and, of course, new contacts in this area, fur trappers, oregon trail travelers, these were some of the first people who really came through this area and wrote about it. in fact, in 1811 the wilson price hunt party came through here, and we're celebrating this year the 200th anniversary. and they made people in the east aware of the area for the first time. >> and your book also looks at the rise of unions and bootleg anything twin falls. how did you research that topic? >> well, i did extensive research on twin falls' history over 13 years, and what i was really dealing with what was key at the time was local newspaper. and because twin falls adopted a
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dry area, it adopted prohibition long before national prohibition, that was an area constantly here. and often individuals would obtain alcohol in nevada, just as today nevada has legalized gambling and people from twin falls go to jackpot, less than 50 miles away. so there is that, i think, rather interesting tension between the desire to not have the alcohol on the one hand or gambling if used today, but also access to it in northern nevada. so i was really kind of following the newspapers in terms of what was deemed important in the city. >> and what do you see as the biggest change in twin falls over its 100 years of existence? is. >> oh, my goodness. we have just celebrated in 2004 the 100th anniversary of the city, and, of course, just a little over 100 years ago there
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was no irrigation here. the snake river had not been dammed, there was basically no agriculture. so there's been a tremendous growth of agriculture in the last 100 years. and, of course, welcome back the city -- within the city itself there has been growth associated with travel, our nearness to interstate 84, also the development of tourism and other factors that could not have been envisioned 100 years ago. >> and for those who are not familiar with twin falls, how does your book help them understand the region? >> well, it really, the title "in the middle and on the edge," what i was trying to make it so that i could deal with those things influencing twin falls, but not deal with county history, for example. and so what it really does is it focuses on twin falls, but also allows me to deal with a lot of issues tangential to twin falls such as the opening of sun
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valley in 1936, the development of jackpot, nevada, in 1954 and that sort of thing. >> and your book has numerous anecdotes of life in twin falls over the year. can you give us an example that sums up twin falls or something you really enjoyed researching? >> >> well, it was all really fascinating to me. i think one of the things that i really enjoyed was the focus on community, that twin falls is still small enough an area that community is important, and i guess because of maybe my own southern roots in small town, community is very important. so the constant focus on community and how to develop community, to me, is very, very interesting. >> and you're not from idaho or twin falls, so what brought you out here and got you interested in writing this booksome. >> are i completed high school in ohio, and my family moved to
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california in 1962 right after i graduated high school. i came to the college of southern idaho in 1969, and while i did my doctoral dissertation at the university of utah, i dealt with choreographers who described regions in england. and that itself made me aware of the rich possibilities of understanding local history in terms of geography and all the different components of local history. >> and is there anything that you're working on coming up next? >> i'm presently doing some research on the history of the college of southern idaho. the college was created in 1965. i came here in 1969, so the college and i kind of grew up together. >> great. well, thank you so much, dr. gentry. >> thank you for your time. >> you're watching booktv on c-span2. we're here at the university of chicago to talk with several of
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their professors about books they've written. we're going to show you some of those now. the name of the book is "democracy remix: black youth and the future of american politics" the author is university of chicago professor kathy cohen. professor cohen, is there an all yen nation -- alienation between black youth of today and the older black generations? >> well, i think that there is a generational divide, to say the least. um, we've heard it, for example, in the words of bill cosby who at times has ranted against parts of this generation for not doing, i think, what he perceives to be kind of the respectable, right thing to do to succeed in the society. there is a concern that we often hear from older members of black generations about, for example, even rap music. so i think that there is a kind of fundamental divide that sometimes happens across generations. i think the concern here when we talk about black communities is
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that often young black people feel alienated from a larger dominant or white society, and so we assume that there's a kind of support system that happens within black communities, and so when there's a divide even within black communities, there's greater concern about where they will find support, where they will resonate, who they will understand to be their community. >> host: but that divide from the larger white community, as you say, is nothing new, is it? >> guest: well, it's not new, but i think it is substantial. for example, given kind of the post-civil rights moment, i think many people thought that this would be a point where we would see kind of increased tolerance where the racial divide in many ways would shrink. people point, for example, to the election of president obama as this kind of post-racial moment. but, actually, the data in the books suggests there's still a pretty significant racial divide between, for example, young blacks and young whites. when we ask them a question like do you believe that racism is
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still a major problem in this country, 69% of young black people said yes. 33% of young whites said yea, and about 51% of young latinos say yes. so even the divide within their population suggests a point of division among young people as they kind of move through the generation. >> host: professor cohen, you mentioned the data in the book. what is the black youth project? >> guest: so the black youth project really started out as a pretty major research project meant to highlight the voices of young black people and young people generally. we engage in a national representative survey, we then followed that up with focus groups in and around chicago, and we then followed that up with in-depth interviews with some of the individuals who answered our survey. so we were looking for a representative sample so we could talk about what's happening in the country, but we also wanted specifics and stories that were generated through the in-depth interviews
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we conducted. in your week you -- in be your book you talk about the obama effect. what is that? laugh. >> guest: yes. there are a number of things we want to pay attention to. first is what the election of president obama meant for many people in the country, and i think for many it really did signify a change in the trajectory when we think about race and racism in this country. many people now say that young blacks in particular have no excuses for not succeeding. um, and, again, the data suggests that, in fact, young black people while they're very excited about the election of president obama also are, i would say, realistic in the its impact on their lives. so they talk about the fact that they still expect to be harassed by the police. we know that even in the obama years they suffer from some of the highest unemployment. we know that even in the obama years public education has not been softed, and -- solved, and they often receive a poor education. so the idea that, in fact, the
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idea that president obama or the election of president obama would rid the country of these ills that have been in place for a very long time was, at best, i would say, naive. >> host: i want to read a little bit from your book, get you to expand on it. candidate obama. a woman complained to obama in iowa about how inner city kids don't know how to dress for a job. below is obama's response as reported in "the washington post." pull up your panels, obama interjected, as the crowd laughed. pull up your pants. >> guest: right. that's the other part of the obama effect which is i don't doubt at all that he has great concern for all the young people in this country, especially young blacks. however, he has tended at times to be, um, i wouldn't say demeaning, but to fall into line much like bill cosby, to say that young black people have not kind of played by the rules that
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would allow them to succeed. in this case he's suggesting that, in fact, because they wear their pants low or sagging pants that they exhibit kind of cultural attributes that would suggest that that's the reason why, in fact, they're unemployed, or that's the reason why they're not succeeding socially. you know, we'd like -- i'd like to think we could have a broad broader analysis and discussion about where young black people exist in this country, how they figure into our political community, are they full members, are they taking on kind of the brunt of the crises that face this country, and really what are the real solutions to that? part of it may be pulling up their pants, but we want them to pull up their pants so that they have, actually, living wage jobs that they can receive. we want them to have a full education. we want them to have college because it's affordable and accessible. so beyond pulling up your pants i think president obama has to also be engaged in a policy agenda that really will advance
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those who are most marginal in the country. >> host: and what would that policy agenda be in your view? >> guest: it would really speak to the things that young black people talked about in our interviews. they have, you know, very american goals. they want a great education for themselves and their children. they want communities that are absent violence and where their kids can play outside. they want housing that they can afford. they want basic services like grocery stores that provide healthy options for themselves and their families, right? so the agenda would really look like a pretty traditional, i think for most people, american politics agenda. it's one about making sure that those who are most marginal have access to equality, to success, to the most basic things that we've said are needed, in fact, for people to fulfill their missions and destinies. it's not a radical agenda by any means. >> host: well, cathy cohen, you're professor of political
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science here at the university of chicago. >> guest: i am, yes. >> host: did you include that example in the book, "democracy remix," because was it a sister soul ya moment? >> guest: i talk about this. we remember that -- i was going to say bill cosby, but bill clinton some people would say attacked sister soldier really to show to the country that he could reprimand the black community and distance himself, some would say, from reverend jesse jackson. i suggest now that young black politicians enin a kind of -- engage in a kind of bills cosby moment -- bill cosby moment. they have to show the country that they're not beholden to black communities, and often that means engaging in if a little reprimanding of black people, often the black poor. so as i recall, that is his bill cosby moment. and i think if we look at other young, in particular black politicians who are trying to have a position beyond the black
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community, you'll also find that they have these moments of reprimanding black communities. >> host: so in democracy remixed, first of all, where did the remix come from? >> guest: well, it comes out of hip-hop culture, and it really does speak to kind of making sure the culture, the voices, the ideas of young black people are first and foremost in writing this book, including in the title. >> host: is there an importance politically to hip-hop culture? >> guest: well, i think it is. first of all, we have to recognize hip-hop culture as something that's created by young black and young latinos and to kind of recognize that and acknowledge that, that they have this creative ability to really influence not only the country, but the world, i mean. if you travel anywhere in the world, right, one of the things we notice about young people is they're listening to and engaging in hip-hop. but, two, it is a genre that resonates with young people. and i think it was, for example, president obama's knowledge of hip-hop that allowed him to talk to and resonate with young black
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people. i remember the stories on what was on his ipod, right? who was he listening to. and we've seen this recently when he invited common to the white house, right? there's a real tension in the country around what does hip-hop represent, who controls it, and should, in fact, the country or in this case the government embrace it? and i think this president has said this is an important genre of a population that's central not only to his re-election, but to his governing, and he's going to promote hip-hop, and i think that's appropriate. >> host: did you see -- was there a huge increase or big increase in voter participation especially among the black youth of america in '08. >> guest: yes. one of the reasons i often talk about in this book is one assumption that we have is young people really aren't interested in politics. that's how we can explain their low turnout. actually in 2004 and 2008 we saw
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a pretty significant increase in the number of young voters coming to the polls. in the 2004 there was an increase among whites, latinos and blacks. what east interesting is, actually -- what's interesting is the increase in the youth vote really came from black and latino voters. many more voted for democrats than they did in the past, but there was no real increase in number of white youth voters. there was an actual increase in the number of black youth voters and latino youth voters, and hen we talk about the outpouring of support for pram that in -- president obama in 2008, a lot of that came from young black voters. so, again, it really can make us question some of our assumptionings such as young people aren't political. >> host: all right. what's the takeaway, cathy cohen, the future of american politics? >> guest: we can't understand and prepare for the future of american politics unless we
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understand those who are most marginal and often excluded from the political discourse. in this case i want to suggest we have to censor young black people when we think about the future of american poll -- politics. without doing that we're going to go down a misguided path and make mistakes we don't need to make. >> host: "democracy remixed: black youth and the future of american politics." it's published by oxford, written by political science professor cathy cohen. >> guest: thank you very much. >> you're watching 48 hours of nonfiction authors and books on c-span2's booktv. >> host: professor adam green of the united states of chicago, "-- university of chicago, your book ". [inaudible]
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>> guest: well, one of the things that people have really begun to do in terms of thinking about not only african-american history, but african-american history and its, its establishment of a sense of change in relation to the situation, the circumstance of black folk many people have really tried to move the way that we think about the history back from the classic years, so-called, of the civil rights era to think about change, challenge, different senses of community, different senses of the potential of people going back in many cases decades. sometimes to the '30s, the '20s, for example. some years before i did my work studies on the harlem renaissance were really trying to imagine the ways in which cultural initiative and cultural genius was something that had really changed the fortunes of black people in new york and beyond. i felt that 1940 was interesting to look at. one, of course, because of the ways in which the federal
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government, the state is beginning to approach african-americans in their place within the pollty in a different way. also the ways in which the market society, consumer society was beginning to pay more attention to how african-americans not only were agents or individuals who needed to be appealed to, but in a sense, also, potentially a source of profit, revenue, various kinds of capacities for market expansion, for commodities, for cultural works and the like. and then i think, finally, african-americans themselves largely as a result of the renewal of migration, mass migration making cities larger enclaves, larger communities capable of greater leverage meant that after 1940 one was beginning to see a different kind of assertion. a different kind of claim. that african-americans collectively were seeking to advance in relation to institutions that they had
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relationships with in the country. so in that sense 1940 is an interesting cutoff point in terms of thinking about an earlier sense of existence that while dynamic, while open in terms of its possibilities was not necessarily fully consummated and realized in terms of being able to leverage the capacity of people to assert their will and their agenda. after 1940 you begin to see much more of that. >> host: what's the importance of chicago in black history? >> guest: well, two things. chicago is, in many ways, one of three or four key centers in relation to black migration. so the transformation this' not only coming from african-americans moving from the south to the north, but african-americans in a more existential sense moving from an agrarian to an you are or ban environment is seen in chicago in an exemplary way.
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chicago is really the center of what could be thought of as the center of black cultural media. and my book is really trying to think about the ways in which the e emergence not only of individual african-american artists, not only individual episodes or instances of black creativity, but what could be called a media infrastructure, almost a culture industry that chicago really more so than los angeles, more so than new york city is the center of that sort of activity in the middle part of the century. so in that sense it's almost as if one could think about an amplifier effect, that chicago is able to provide to black perspective, to black aspiration, to black identity. and in that way what is going on in chicago whether it relates to music, whether it relates to newspapers and magazines, whether it relates to trying to influence advertisement and the kind of integration of african-americans into the consumer market system, chicago really is the nodal point in the
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middle part of the 20th century. and that's what i base my argument on understanding chicago as pivotal many relation to what is happening in terms of african-americans collectively and mid century. >> host: professor green, some examples of chicago music, chicago media. >> guest: sure. chicago, of course, is the center of genres in terms of music that many people see as foundational to the turn towards modern poplar music. both signified, i think, by rock and roll, rhythm and blues and eventually soul music. gospel, for instance, is a musical form that is taking route in chicago and institutionalized by the emergence of add mive bodies -- administrative bodies, by the establishment of producers and song writers who are really thinking about how to move gospel from the himmal to somebody who's going to appeal to a wide awd cent and a
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cross-over audience. blues, similarly, is undergoing a transformation in term of its modernization. record companies are emerging in chicago, elsewhere to be sure, but the central companies, companies like chess records, for instance, are centered here in chicago. as well as radio and the capacity of radio to establish playlists, to create djs who are going to be able to be known primarily as broadcasters of that style of music, people like pga benson and sam evans. -- hal benson and sam e lance. this means not only -- blews is actually going to be -- blues is actually going to be something that people recognize as a distinctive style down the railroad line to southern centers. and when one thinks, for instance, just about these two genres -- gospel music on the
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one hand in the 1940s, blues music in the late '40s into the '50s -- one can see that synthesis. it's eventually going to give rise to rhythm and blows and soul -- blues and soul. >> host: the importance of ebony magazine. >> guest: ebony magazine is, in the many ways, the first movement on the part of african-americans within journalism in publishing to come up become a -- and there's several opponents to this. one is editorial. ebony was very interested in trying to find ways to encourage african-american readers to think about individuals coming out of their community as being able to convey stories, narratives, trajectories, arcs of unquestioned success. and so you would have whether it was a major movie actor, a
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musician, an important entrepreneur, increasingly organizational and political leaders, civic celebrities in a sense. they would be brought out and not only thought about or covered in terms of their work, but also their family life. what are their tastes in relation to clothing or food or fine wine and spirits and such. for some people this was a disregard of the realities of life for most african-americans because it was a sort of decided ly bough boy view on how to think about african-americans. but ebony in a sense editorially was conveying a sense that blacks could identify with aspirational narratives. what are stories of black people who aspire to a higher station than historically had been available to them? what are ways in which their success can be understood as a potential road to success for other individuals reading the magazine? second, because ebony was a
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picture magazine as well as a text magazine and, indeed, i think the great accomplishment of ebony during the 1940s and 1950s was to assemble such an extraordinary group of photographers who each brought their own often modernist style to how they were portraying the individuals that were being covered. that meant that there was a visual appeal to the stories that were presented in the magazine and, indeed, a visual appeal, an aura or a charisma, if you will, to the ways in which those individuals corresponded to others. and then third, the fact that ebony was a magazine that sought to revolutionize the ways in which consumer marketers thought about african-american consumers meant that in addition to the stories, in in addition to the photographs, you had all of these different examples of advertisers -- chesterfield cigarettes, eventually cadillac automobiles -- all of which are using african-americans as
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plausible, staged consumers for those products. and we're so used today to thinking about african-americans as inserted within the language of advertising to see that as sort of inconsequential or beside the point. but never before had there been a publication that had successfully been able to get national marketers to see african-americans as agents of conception. let me give one example of this. chesterfield cigarettes or seagram whiskey. if you saw an african-american in a national magazine or even in a black monthly, that would present an african-american relation to the product, it would usually be a butler. he was bringing a glass of whiskey to a white who was supposed to be consuming and buying that whiskey. and the message of this, of course, was that african-americans were fit to be the conduit for these commodities to come to the market, but never the end point in terms of where the address and the appeal needed to go to.
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after ebony, and there was a great deal of lobbying, of making the black consumer market legible to national marketers. after ebony you would see peek like nat king cole, dorothy dandridge, hosts of others to whom that company now needed to appeal. in its own way, this is a softer form of desegregation but no less significant, of course, given that this was a country that's built as much on the capacity to generate consumer markets as it is the capacity to reform laws. >> host: professor, is that where the title comes from? >> guest: yes. and in that title i do want to convey that we have to understand the inherent contra text behind this. because we don't want to simply see this as a theological story,
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about how everything became better for african-americans. being integrated as it was into the world of the consumer market meant, for instance, that much of the vitality, much of the id idiosin ro si began to be sort of pushed down and softened out and 40 -- homogenized so that with someone like joe lewis, lena horne, one is presented with one authoritative version about how to be a successful african-american rather than all of the successful, somewhat fascinating stories of how people have made their way in earlier decades. another important contradiction is, obvious, that the history of african-americans going babb to the -- back to the founding of the country is one in which their relationship to the market is not only as individuals who are prevented from being able to
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consume, but as entities who are being consumed. after all, african-americans come to this country largely through slavery. and much of what one sees during the 1940s in ebony and the american negro exposition which i write about in my first chapter and some of the different initiatives to bring african-americans in greater line with the market is a puzzling over how to make this turn seem credible in the face of a much longer history in which black folks were faced with the heritage of their enslavement within the united states. and i think to some degree today going well past the sort of span of this book and thinking about what kinds of let sons it bring up in the present day. the fact that we still see many african-americans who are put in situations where they really do not have the capacity to exercise initiative to transform their lives.
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they might be incarcerated, they might be in places in which the wage scale or costs make it difficult for one to realize a kind of viable sort of economic condition. these, in a sense, remind us that coming into the market is not necessarily a wholly empowering term for individuals. so at the same time that we celebrate and learn from those individual waited stories such as ebony would coffer, we also have to think about the ways in which those stories distract us from other realities and distract us from the heritage that i was speaking about before. >> professor green, you mentioned the american negro expedition. what was that? >> guest: the american negro exposition, it was interesting. it was a world's fair that was put on specifically by african-americans meant to commemorate the 75th anniversary, now thinking about the ways in this which the story of slavery connects with the story of modern black life. men, too, celebrate the
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anniversary of emancipation in 1865, an attempt to think about autodifferent ways in which progress -- all the ways in which policy could be marked. cities like memphis, los angeles, detroit and chicago were putting together their own sorts of exbigs and -- exhibitions and kiosks that conveyed a sense of how people had advanced. particularly important at the exposition was the story of african-american artists, visual artists put together this tremendous, bigger than anything seen before in relation to african-american arts exhibit of some 200 different black artists and works. but at the same time, and or i write about this towards the end of the chapter in my book. one of the things that my exposition could not really address because in a certain sense it was going to jam the message of this idea of black
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progress. what sense to make of the fact that the 75th anniversary of slavery was something that made clear that one had to reckon with that history of slavery in order to understand the condition of the present that people found themselves in. so you would have some instances of die ram thats -- dioramas by dr. franklin frazier that would convey the life of the black family during slavery and during the latter part of the 19th century. ask you had individuals like the assistant or associate curator -- actually, the head cure ray of of the psalm burg library in new york city -- who conveyed some of the slave narratives that were written by fugitive slaves, runaway slaves and, vernal, abolitionists during the period prior to the end of slavery. but what you at no time see was a real historical rustling with, what the heritage of slavery meant to african-americans
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today. this was going to come later in relation to black communities in new york and also in chicago in the form of a kind of black power-oriented approach to knowledge in in the form of emerging fields in black the studies. but in 1940 it was, in a sense, a kind of history that dare not speak its name. and because of that one learns as one often does from history seeing what it is that people don't say that reveals something about what they are about what they do say. >> host: who is on the cover of your book, "selling the race"? >> guest: it's a disk jockey. wayne miller, the photographer who supplies me with most of the photographs that i used in my book, and i would be remiss in speaking about this book without thanking him. wonderful, wonderful photographer who, incidentally, worked as a' fronter. in any event, he's sitting in
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his office and reffing a -- receiving a pitch from somebody who's pitching an actress or sicker, likely singer. in the background are people he has recruited. and the point of the photo in many ways is to encourage us to think about the fact that cultural initiative, cultural accomplishment, cultural product is something that emerges out of a process. it's not just simply a statement that comes out of the artist's mind and the artists mouth or off of the artist's hand. there needs to be a series of different mediating points. in some cases a disseminating hem nhl or institution like a radio station or ebony magazine. ..
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>> to think about the fact that a 1940s and 1950s, one is looking at a turn in black life where people are beginning to really understand that there needs to be these different institutional mediators in order to create the capacity to broadcast african-american identity and african-american appeal out to a wide audience.
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that's something that in many ways is at the heart of the chicago store in the 1940s and 1950s. i begin with this story in the photograph. eyed in the book with the story of martin luther king. and the fact that we all understand martin luther king is an iconic figure of the last half of the 20th century. many people understand this to be the result of the way in which whites, whites liberals, embracing as exemplary of the form of the country. but we don't perhaps know is that many years before team was actually brought up to the level of prominence, he was being present as an iconic and exemplary african-american public and celebrity figured by ebony magazine, 1955-9056 directly in the wake of the montgomery us boycott. so that promotional machine, the ability to make people seem larger-than-life and impact for good and sometimes for ill that he had on african-american, is
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something that comes out of the black community even more so than it comes out of the broader mainstream comedic. >> host: what courses to teach? trinket i teach in african-american history class in chicago which draws in part often this research as was looking at a great deal of wonderful scholarship that is being done anybody before i'm writing about and after i'm writing about. that klesko some approximate 1893-2007, 2008. i generally end with the election of barack obama as president at all also teach a class on great documents are great texts in american history during the 19th century. that's called american civilization. and that has to do with the 19th 19th century running all the way to dreiser and william graham sumner and others. i do graduate classes that relate mainly to 20 century african-american industry, often in an urban focus in an urban context.
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this year i'm preferring to put together a class on approaching american popular culture from the standpoint to its industrial structures. so how do markets begin to emerge in relation to the music industry from the copyright act of 1909, to the reemergence of new platforms in the '70s and '80s, how do the movie industry move from its consolidation with its reconditioning around different finance structures. and so on and so forth. socom it's a wonderful, wonderful opportunity and a great treat to be able to teach. >> host: we've been talking with professor adam green of the university of chicago. here's his book, "selling the race." spent booktv has over 100,000 twitter followers. be a part of the excitement. follow booktv on twitter to get publishing news, scheduling
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updates, author information and talk directly with officer in our life program. >> professor harcourt, what's illusory about free markets? >> we have a fantasy. we have a fantasy in this country. with a fancy that there are such things as free markets. and what are you in the book is that that is a fancy and also it has some negative consequences, some detrimental effects on our political discourse and our political practices. was a leisurely about free markets is the fact that there could be such a thing. and essentially we tend to focus in this country on small spaces where we see free exchange, voluntary compensated exchange. the pit at the new york stock
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exchange. we kind -- returned those small spaces into stand-alone images of a free space of trade, of a free market. and ignore essentially all of the regulatory framework that is necessary to create a little space like that as a space of free trade. and so, the illusion really is to think that there can be such a thing as voluntary compensated exchange that can occur without all of the mechanisms that are required to put in place. the chicago board of trade is a perfect example. an institution that we think of as the ideal, the space of the free market but institution that was constructed through enormous regulatory and state interventions. in other words, it's a privately chartered organization that couldn't even exist in some sense without having
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criminalized all of the other bucket shots in chicago. and if you have had all of the criminalization and a limitation of all of those other spaces, right, you wouldn't have been able to create that image, that allusion that, in fact, this is a place of freedom. and so what i tried to get at in the book really is this, is what work it does for us to create this magical space and ignore all of the regulatory framework around it. and so, and what i suggested that has some negative consequences. >> what are those negative consequences in your view? >> there are two major negative consequences. differs is in some sense it naturalize his the distribution that occur as a result of this, of the regulations. so in some sense we think that
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distributions in terms of wealth and resources that come out of these exchanges are natural and appropriate and uncritical in some sense because we don't really see that there are regulations, rules and practices that actually have certain tilts in them. that district resources in certain ways. so when we don't see those, then we think that the result is simply unquestionable goal. it's just the way it should be. and in the sense that good or bad we just think, well, that's just the way it is. >> give an example. >> for instance, in the kinds, any kind of regulation, a regulation of an investment bank or a regulation of any bank as to whether or not you can have a three to one debt equity ratio or a 30 to one debt equity ratio. those left consequences. who's going to be picking up the
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slack if there are bankruptcies, for instance? that's going to have consequences. all of the regulatory pieces. in a situation like the chicago board of trade there are actually requirements of inventory being in the city of chicago. that's going to have consequences on long distance versus closer to the city producers. et cetera. when you standardize contracts, essentially you are creating a standard that is good for some people and not good for others. but once the raid were framework is hidden from view, we don't see it anymore. so for instance, for instance, there's a simple thing. a standardized grain contract that get straight on the chicago board of trade. it gives you kind of different kinds of wheat that you can trade. there would've been a time
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before i standardize contact like that that some people would've gained reputations for having her week than others. and that would require a lot of work. the fact that we have standardized grain contract doesn't allow in a sense anymore for reputational relations, or an investment in those kinds of relations that would then give you, say, a reputation for being someone who's grain is usually the best, say. so all of these minute regulations that we don't see have effects. they have dissed additional effects. and it's when we don't see those that the distributions then become natural and kind of unquestionable. i think the second effect is also very troubling and it has to do i think with the fact that we intend to allow the state to do certain things that they seem
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to be more confident at. and that, of course, tends to be punishing and policing. so we developed this kind of, well, it's this kind of differential treatment of the conference of the state. we tend to think that the state is incompetent when it comes to regulating the economy. but comforted and legitimate when it comes to policing and putting people in and to a certain extent more we believe kind of the incompetence of the state in real-time matters. but the legitimacy of the state in law and order matters, the easier it is into kind of allow what we've seen over the course of the past four decades which has been an exponential increase in the number of persons in prison in this country. so basically, we have passed me situation, say, at the beginning of the 1970s when we would incarcerate approximate 150 per
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100,000 persons, to a rate now where we are at approximately 1% of the population behind bars. 1% of the adult population. it's an increase of about seven times basically. it's exponential if you look at it. and what's made that possible is the fact that we have this background, these background often unconscious but espresso it's also, an idea that the state is not good at raising the economy. if they were to take over -- when they do things like run the railroads, when they run amtrak, the trains would be late, it's going to be incompetent, et cetera. and the other hand for some reason we allow them, we allow the state to fully regulate the penal seer and to create a huge prison apparatus. so it's that contrast between
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those two which has do with basic assumptions we have. about what the state is good at what the state isn't good at. and disillusioned in part that it is some orderliness in the economic realm. there is this invisible hand of economic realm. there is this freedom and economic realm that we shouldn't be touching. >> which the image on the front of your book? >> the image on the front of the book is this hand that his mistress and holding up this leaf. and essentially it's the idea that it's magic, the magical idea that effect we could get kind of create this orderliness. we could create a space without touching it. and that is of course the image of an orderly market, an orderly space. and we don't really have to touch it. it happens on its own. and so we don't put our fingers
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in it. we don't have to hold on to it. we just kind of, it's there. >> you teach at the law school, and political science department here at the university of chicago. what do you teach? >> well, i teach -- i have kind of these varied interests as you can tell. in part theoretical and political economic, and so in political science i teach political theory. and i teach courses on contemporary political thought predominately. some french theorists in part, i have the background in continental theory. and so i teach that at the political science department as well as i am chairing it now so there's also a few administrative tasks. hiring, hiring, hiring faculty. and i also teach at the law
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school in the criminal law and criminal procedure area. so i teach courses on punishment and social theory, on sentencing and on criminal procedure as well. >> is this book, and by the way, you have blurbs from cornell west and malcolm gladwell on the back of your book, but is this written for students or is this written from lame in? >> well, i have tried to write it for the reader of "the new york times," someone who, over the new york review of books. someone who has some theoretical interests, and, therefore, wants to put their hands and some other materials actually, some of the archival materials. and some of the historic materials. so, so it's this book -- i tried to not address only my
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colleagues. i tried not to address only my colleagues. i tried to make it and since it's more than in conversation with an educated public. >> so it's a mistake to you, define capitalism, how would you define it? >> so, the definition of capitalism would be a system, and economic system that depends primarily on private property ownership. and that puts in place structures of economic organization that respect private property ownership as a mode of production. that would be how i would define it. in contrast, say, two other economic systems such as socialism with the industry --
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where an industry may be fully nationalized. now, of course, those are easy definitions. and things get much more complicated in reality. as you know as result of the 2008 great recession, or depression, however you want to turn it, we, the united states, actually nationalized in part the biggest banks. so, pretty soon after 2008 the united states, the people of the united states became the greatest shareholders in citibank and in bank of america. now, in most countries, that would be considered nationalization. in the united states we don't collect nationalization. in part, in part because of some of the statements of imagination that are associated with this
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dilution of the free market. and that is a very interesting episode in american history was of course under president bush, with the treasury department that was headed by by hank paulson who was one of the leading investment bankers of this country. under the leading private investment banker of this country, we nationalized our biggest banks. but we didn't call it that. paul krugman had a traumatic and i thought the most interesting turn. it was pre-privatization, or reprioritizing the banks in a sense the government was coming in and bailing them out, buying equity basically, with the expectation of then allowing
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them to return to entire private ownership, once the financial collapse, that we recovered from the financial collapse. and to all of these -- i mean, i like the question because to a certain extent it really puts the finger, put one finger on this problem of how exactly would define the system. could you say that in 2900 nationalized the biggest banks in this country, or when it was clear that the only way that this country could survive was to government bailout, through the fact that the government was prepared to and did nationalize gm, and did partially nationalize the biggest banks, that the federal government was there to catch this economy as it was, as it was collapsing.
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would you call that socialism? >> and that was just a little bit from bernard harcourt, "the illusion of free markets" is his book. published by harvard. per parser -- thank you very much expect is there a book you'd like to see featured on booktv? send us an e-mail at or tweet us at >> now on your screen is professor robert pape of the university of chicago. he is the author of "dying to win" and he's just written a follow-up to that bestseller called cutting the fuse. what is this book about? >> this book looks at suicide terrorism in the five years after i publish "dying to win." there's more data, more patterns and more policies to look at and
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to examine, and there aren't terribly important for specific foreign policy decisions we need to make in the coming years. >> what did you find? >> what i found is that over 95% of all suicide terrorist attacks are driven by not religion but a specific circumstance, foreign occupation. that is, large-scale military presence on territory that the terrorists tried. that is the main trigger, the main point of radicalization that drives people from simply being angry to going to the point of willing to kill themselves on missions to kill others. >> how many suicide attacks have there been annually? >> annually just in the last few years over 300 a year. and, in fact, suicide terrorism has been exploding around the world.
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if we were to go back just 10 years, say the year 2000, the year before 9/11, there were just 20 suicide attacks around the world. one of those 20 against the u.s. goal was the anti-american inspired. in the last year, over 300 suicide attacks around the world. and they are not thinly scattered. they are concentrated, concentrated in the area of american occupation, especially afghanistan, especially iraq, and increasingly the spillover of afghanistan into pakistan causing a huge number of attacks there. and so, what's been occurring is not just a large number of suicide attacks but a large number of anti-american inspired suicide attacks. >> besides the obvious policy of pulling out, is there another policy? >> absolutely. because pulling out simply abandons our interest, ignores our interest. what this book suggests is a
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middleground policy called offshore balancing. offshore balancing continues to pursue our core security interests and obligations in overseas regions, but does so with over the horizon air power, naval power, intelligence assets. relies on economic assets and political tools. and this is the core policy that we pursue as the united states, and for decades in major regions of the world, such as the middle east with great success, and we should return to this policy. >> can you give a specific about how we pursued this policy in the middle east? >> in the 1970s and '80s the united states had core interest in the middle east including on the persian gulf. and we maintain and secure those interest without staging a single combat boulder on the array of potential. instead we relied on allies,
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especially iraq and saudi arabia. we relied on over the horizon offshore military powers, carriers essentially in the arabian peninsula. and we relied on a series of bases so that we could put troops in and out if we needed them, but not maintain them permanently year after year after year. when we abandoned that policy in the mid 1990s, much to our detriment, because by abandoning that policy of offshore balancing and shifting to onshore heavy ground presence, what we did is inadvertently give terrorist leaders the key tool to recruit suicide attackers and killers. >> robert pape, afghanistan, how do you offshore afghanistan? >> you offshore afghanistan over a period of two or three years. not an abrupt policy change. and by the way, similar to how we did this in iraq and how we are doing it in a right.
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over the past three years we have been transitioning from heavy onshore presence to you by your withdrawing about a third of the troops. and notice how in iraq it has produced more stability in afghanistan can we should follow more policy. over the course of the next two or three years we should withdraw about a third of the troops a year, and along the way we should also rely more and more on economic tools to achieve our nationbuilding goals in the country. >> dr. pape, why do you think there has a been a suicide bomber in the u.s.? >> i think it's not because of bad guys haven't tried. in fact, you can look at the newspapers almost every year and see foiled plot after foiled plot. the reason we haven't had suicide attacks in the united states, the main reason is because we have adopted an excellent series of defenses, especially immigration control,
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preventing immigration from countries that we are occupying. so for instance, if you are an iraq and you want to try to get into the united states since we invaded and occupied iraq, good luck. we don't even let in people that actually risk their lives for us which is kind of a moral dilemma that we face but the bottom line is that we have adopted important security measures to prevent incoming people from areas we occupy. and that more than anything else has taken the steam out of the threat to the united states. >> in your book at your profile any of the suicide bombers? how easy is it to make a suicide vest, or to put together a suicide bomber? >> the actual take account of putting together a bomb are not all that difficult. however, it is a bit of an expertise involved which is why most suicide bombers are walking volunteers am not longtime
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members of a terrorist group but they go to join a group. why are they joining a group? two reasons. they need to learn how to kill people. it's easy to kill yourself, not so easy to actually kill others. although it can be learned or to quickly. then secondarily they want credit. they want the social prestige that comes from kennedys in our occupied of doing the attacks for them. and the terrorist groups do that by releasing martyr videos after the fact. >> how much does it cost to put together like a suicide vest and? >> a suicide vest less than $1000. most of the money that, in fact, goes into a suicide vest is not coming from the blasting caps. it's not coming from the actual test itself. it's literally just coming from the fact that you need to pay somebody some money who can essentially do this part-time on a regular basis. and the reason is because you
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need a little bit of familiarity, the mary in the blasting caps so you don't blow yourself up. because the point here a suicide attack, remember is not simply to kill yourself. that's the easy part. the difficult challenge is to kill somebody else. and that's what takes battle special expertise and you have to basically pay someone to stand ready part-time. >> robert pape, how did you get interested in researching this topic? again, "dying to win," your first book. cutting his, follow-up. >> it came as an action. i spent 15 years studying air power. so when 9/11 itself, there were lots of questions where to how many people died that day. because of my expertise on airpower, i could come on television programs and say that had this been an attack we would say that the floor where the
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cruise missile it would be engulfed by a fire and people from that point on down would have a chance to get out and people from that point on up couldn't and wouldn't have been allowed some of between three and 7000 people died that day. which, of course, for the media was helpful, but since there were no terrorism experts, i was asked tons of questions about suicide terrorism and terrorism in general. that's when i began to really research the phenomena which i had that was done before. >> what do you teach you at the university of chicago? >> national security affairs in general. i teach courses on strategy. i teach courses on international politics in general, the theories of international politics and next i will be teaching a course on humanitarian intervention. >> who is your co-author? >> james feldman is the person who hired me when i taught for thai


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